A group of businessmen, educators and elected officials spoke at a press conference on Thursday, launching their campaign for an arts and entertainment center to replace the Sugar Mill factory in Longmont.
“Although this campaign is about the big money investment and economic development, it’s even more about the human development,” said City Council member Marcia Martin.
Instead of the nonfunctional sugar mill, the group envisions a venue where the public can enjoy national music concerts, ballet, orchestra performances and comedy shows.
The ballot measure was approved by the Longmont City Council earlier in the month. It would cost Longmont residents $45 million to bring the arts and entertainment center to the city. The money will be obtained through raised sales tax and a mill levy increase. Before a tax increase is triggered, the coalition must raise an additional $35 million to fund the center.
“Longmonters tend to not want their taxes raised and I think one of the things that makes this such a unique opportunity for the people of Longmont is that their taxes won’t be raised unless they see that we have raised $35 million. We have five years to do that,” said Elliot Moore, Music Director and Conductor of the Longmont Symphony Orchestra.
Cameron Grant, Board Chair of the Longmont Economic Development Partnership, said the coalition hopes to transform the city into an “amenity-rich community” and heighten the desirability of visiting and residing in Longmont.
Longmont residents will vote on the ballot issue in November.